Is The Chairwoman of the Miantonomi Park Commission Out Of Her Goddamn Mind?

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Ann Canole Twomey’s voicemail keeps it real, goes wrong.

This morning Newport Patch reported that Newport City Counselor John Florez received a rather bizarre voicemail from Ann Canole Twomey, the chairwoman of the Miantonomi Park Commission, in which she told him that he wasn’t a Newporter and referred to him as a “Colombian carpetbagger”.

Now, the Patch referred to the voicemail as “racist”, but we’re not sure that we agree with use of that term. John Florez is from Colombia, and the last time we checked, “Colombian” isn’t a slur.

While not necessarily racism, the whole rant(audio here) is trashy nativism. While it’s a long-running joke among the people who have moved here, be it 6 months back or 30 years ago, that they’re not “a local” because they haven’t had family here for a couple generations, actually playing the local card is almost always the pathetic gesture of someone whose single claim to fame is where they dropped out of their mother.

The problem with deriving self-esteem from having been born in Newport and having lived here one’s whole life is that it generally leads to an unremarkable life. A quick glance at the notable people who were born in Newport reveals a nice list of people who accomplished a great many things…away from Newport. There are people like Matthew Perry, who, before starring in Friends, opened Japan to trade in 1854 while serving as Commodore of the US Navy.

Likewise, there are plenty of people, including a bunch who have statues prominently displayed throughout the city, who did great things for Newport, despite the critical handicap of having been born elsewhere.

People like Oliver Hazard Perry…


South Kingston Carpetbagger

and General Rochambeau…

French Carpetbagger

French Carpetbagger

…and so on.

Now, there’s naturally going to be a conflict between people whose idea of imaginative is to make sure they die in the same town they were born…and someone like John Florez, who brought a tech company that he could locate anywhere to Newport, RI. Sure, we may hate half of his ideas and his affection for Bill Clinton, but at least he’s trying to come up with something that will bring Newport into the 21st century.

This is a fight that has probably gone on in Newport the moment the first settlers had a child born in the port. One an just imagine some guy bitching about what some “carpetbagger” named “Vanderbilt” was about to build in front of his ocean view.

The lifeblood of the city is two transient industries; tourism and the military. In fact, a good chunk of the people who claim a Newport birthright are here simply because the Navy told one of their ancestors “Hey you, pack your crap…you’re going to Newport. We have a very important mission for you.”

Anyhow, we’re calmly awaiting Ann Twomey’s resignation as she’s clearly demonstrating a lack of judgment as far as her views of her fellow Newport residents and how she expresses them.

-Tristan Pinnock, Blast Little Compton Carpetbagging Correspondent

Tristan's just this guy, ya know?